from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To make a brisk sharp cracking sound: "Logs snapped in the grate” ( James Fox).
  • intransitive v. To break suddenly with a brisk, sharp, cracking sound.
  • intransitive v. To give way abruptly under pressure or tension: With so many people crowding onto the platform, its supports snapped.
  • intransitive v. To suffer a physical or mental breakdown, especially while under stress: feared that the troops would snap from fatigue.
  • intransitive v. To bring the jaws briskly together, often with a clicking sound; bite.
  • intransitive v. To snatch or grasp suddenly and with eagerness: snap at a chance to go to China.
  • intransitive v. To speak abruptly or sharply: snapped at the child.
  • intransitive v. To move swiftly and smartly: snap to attention. See Synonyms at jerk1.
  • intransitive v. To flash or appear to flash light; sparkle: eyes that snapped with anger.
  • intransitive v. To open, close, or fit together with a click: The lock snapped shut. The jacket snaps in front.
  • transitive v. To snatch at with or as if with the teeth; bite.
  • transitive v. To pull apart or break with a snapping sound.
  • transitive v. To utter abruptly or sharply: The sergeant snapped out a command.
  • transitive v. To cause to emit a snapping sound: snap a whip.
  • transitive v. To close or latch with a snapping sound: snapped the purse shut.
  • transitive v. To cause to move abruptly and smartly: "His head was snapped back by a sudden scream from the bed” ( James Michener).
  • transitive v. To take (a photograph).
  • transitive v. To photograph: snapped the winner on the podium.
  • transitive v. Football To center (a football); hike.
  • n. A sudden sharp cracking sound or the action producing such a sound.
  • n. A sudden breaking.
  • n. A clasp, catch, or other fastening device that operates with a snapping sound.
  • n. A sudden attempt to bite, snatch, or grasp.
  • n. The sound produced by rapid movement of a finger from the thumb tip to the base of the thumb.
  • n. The act of producing this sound.
  • n. The sudden release of something held under pressure or tension.
  • n. A thin, crisp, usually circular cookie: a ginger snap.
  • n. Capacity to make a snapping sound; elasticity: This waistband has lost its snap.
  • n. Informal Briskness, liveliness, or energy.
  • n. A brief spell of brisk, cold weather.
  • n. Something accomplished without effort. See Synonyms at breeze1.
  • n. A snapshot.
  • n. The taking of a snapshot.
  • n. A snap bean.
  • n. Football The passing of a football from the center to a back that initiates each play. Also called hike.
  • adj. Made or done suddenly, with little or no preparation: a snap decision.
  • adj. Fastening with a snap: snap pockets.
  • adj. Informal Simple; easy: a snap assignment.
  • adv. With a snap.
  • snap back To recover quickly.
  • snap to To pay attention or begin complying abruptly.
  • snap up To acquire quickly: snapped up the tickets.
  • idiom snap out of it Informal To move quickly back to one's normal condition from an undesirable condition, such as depression, grief, or self-pity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A quick breaking or cracking sound or the action of producing such a sound.
  • n. A sudden break.
  • n. An attempt to seize, bite, attack, or grab.
  • n. The act of making a snapping sound by pressing the thumb and a opposing finger of the same hand together and suddenly releasing the grip so that the finger hits against the palm.
  • n. A fastening device that makes a snapping sound when used.
  • n. A photograph (an abbreviation of snapshot)
  • n. The sudden release of something held under pressure or tension.
  • n. A thin circular cookie or similar good:
  • n. A brief, sudden period of a certain weather; used primarily in the phrase cold snap.
  • n. A very short period of time (figuratively, the time taken to snap one's fingers), or a task that can be accomplished in such a period.
  • n. A snap bean such as Phaseolus vulgaris.
  • n. The passing of a football from the center to a back that begins play, a hike.
  • n. A rivet: a scrapbooking embellishment.
  • n. A small meal, a snack.
  • n. A card game, primarily for children, in which players cry "snap" to claim pairs of matching cards.
  • n. lunch
  • v. To fracture or break apart suddenly.
  • v. To give forth or produce a sharp cracking noise; to crack.
  • v. To attempt to seize with the teeth or bite.
  • v. To attempt to seize with eagerness.
  • v. To speak abruptly or sharply.
  • v. To give way abruptly and loudly.
  • v. To suffer a mental breakdown, usually while under tension.
  • v. To flash or appear to flash as with light.
  • v. To fit or fasten together with a snapping sound.
  • v. To jump to a fixed position relative to another element.
  • v. To snatch with or as if with the teeth.
  • v. To pull apart with a snapping sound; to pop loose.
  • v. To say abruptly or sharply.
  • v. To cause something to emit a snapping sound, such as a fastener.
  • v. To close something using a snap as a fastener.
  • v. Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player. You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser. A video of a person snapping their fingers. Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player. You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser. Alternative snapping technique To snap one's fingers: to make a snapping sound often by pressing the thumb and an opposing finger of the same hand together and suddenly releasing the grip so that the finger hits against the palm. Alternatively, by bringing the index finger quickly down onto the middle finger and thumb, thereby creating the same sound.
  • v. To cause to move suddenly and smartly.
  • v. To take a photograph; to release a camera's shutter (which may make a snapping sound).
  • v. (American football) To pass the ball from the center to a back; to hike the ball.
  • interj. The winning cry at a game of snap.
  • interj. By extension from the card game, "I've got one the same." or similar
  • interj. Ritual utterance of agreement (after the cry in the card game snap).
  • interj. Used in place of expletive to express surprise, usually in response to a negative statement or news; often used facetiously.
  • interj. Ritual utterance used after something is said by two people at exactly the same time.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Done, performed, made, executed, carried through, or the like, quickly and without deliberation.
  • n. A sudden breaking or rupture of any substance.
  • n. A sudden, eager bite; a sudden seizing, or effort to seize, as with the teeth.
  • n. A sudden, sharp motion or blow, as with the finger sprung from the thumb, or the thumb from the finger.
  • n. A sharp, abrupt sound, as that made by the crack of a whip.
  • n. A greedy fellow.
  • n. That which is, or may be, snapped up; something bitten off, seized, or obtained by a single quick movement; hence, a bite, morsel, or fragment; a scrap.
  • n. A sudden severe interval or spell; -- applied to the weather.
  • n. A small catch or fastening held or closed by means of a spring, or one which closes with a snapping sound, as the catch of a bracelet, necklace, clasp of a book, etc.
  • n. A snap beetle.
  • n. A thin, crisp cake, usually small, and flavored with ginger; -- used chiefly in the plural.
  • n. Briskness; vigor; energy; decision.
  • n. Any circumstance out of which money may be made or an advantage gained.
  • n. Any task, labor, set of circumstances, or the like, that yields satisfactory results or gives pleasure with little trouble or effort, as an easy course of study, a job where work is light, a bargain, etc.
  • n. A snap shot with a firearm.
  • n. A snapshot.
  • n. Something of no value.
  • n. The action of snapping the ball back, from the center usu. to the quarterback, which commences the play (down), and, if the clock had stopped, restarts the timer clock; a snap back.
  • intransitive v. To break short, or at once; to part asunder suddenly.
  • intransitive v. To give forth, or produce, a sharp, cracking noise; to crack.
  • intransitive v. To make an effort to bite; to aim to seize with the teeth; to catch eagerly (at anything); -- often with at
  • intransitive v. To utter sharp, harsh, angry words; -- often with at.
  • intransitive v. To miss fire.
  • intransitive v. Of the eyes, to emit sudden, brief sparkles like those of a snapping fire, as sometimes in anger.
  • transitive v. To break at once; to break short, as substances that are brittle.
  • transitive v. To strike, to hit, or to shut, with a sharp sound.
  • transitive v. To bite or seize suddenly, especially with the teeth.
  • transitive v. To break upon suddenly with sharp, angry words; to treat snappishly; -- usually with up.
  • transitive v. To crack; to cause to make a sharp, cracking noise.
  • transitive v. To project with a snap.
  • transitive v. To catch out sharply (a batsman who has just snicked a bowled ball).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To snatch; take or catch unexpectedly with or as with a snapping movement or sound; hence, to steal.
  • To bite or seize suddenly with the teeth.
  • To interrupt or break in upon suddenly with sharp, angry words: often with up.
  • To shut with a sharp sound; operate (something which produces a sharp snapping sound when it acts); cause to make a sharp sound by shutting, opening, exploding, etc: as, to snap a percussion-cap; to snap the lid of a box.
  • To break sharply, as some tough or brittle object; break short; break with a sharp cracking sound: as, to snap a string or a buckle.
  • To make a sharp sound with; crack: as, to snap a whip.
  • To take an instantaneous photograph of, especially with a detective camera or hand-camera.
  • To bite off suddenly: often used humorously to express a sudden attack with sharp or angry words: as, speak quietly, don't snap my head off.
  • To make a snatch; do anything hastily; especially, to catch eagerly at a proposal, offer, or opportunity; accept gladly and promptly: with at: as, to snap at the chance.
  • To make an effort to bite; aim to seize with the teeth: usually with at.
  • To utter sharp, harsh, or petulant words: usually with at.
  • To break short; part asunder suddenly, as a brittle or tense object.
  • To emit a sharp cracking or crackling sound.
  • To appear as if flashing, as with fire; flash.
  • n. A snatch; that which is caught, by a snatch or grasp; a catch.
  • n. An eager bite; a sudden seizing or effort to seize? as with the teeth: as, the snap of a dog.
  • n. A slight or hurried repast; a snack.
  • n. A sudden breaking or parting of something brittle or tense: as, the snap of glass.
  • n. A sharp cracking sound; a crack: as, the snap of a whip.
  • n. The spring-catch of a purse, reticule, book-clasp, bracelet, and the like; also, a snap-hook and a top-snap.
  • n. A snap-bug or snapping-beetle.
  • n. A crisp kind of gingerbread nut or small cake; a ginger-snap.
  • n. Crispness; pithiness; epigrammatic force: said of verbal expression.
  • n. Vigor; energy; briskness; life: as, the heat took all the snap out of me.
  • n. A position, piece of work, etc., that is pleasant, easy, and remunerative.
  • n. A brief engagement.
  • n. An ear-ring: so called from being snapped or clasped with a spring-catch.
  • n. A sharper; a cheat; a knavish fellow.
  • n. In music, same as Scotch snap (which see, under Scotch).
  • n. A glass-molding tool, used for shaping the feet of goblets, and similar work.
  • n. A riveters' tool for finishing the heads of rivets symmetrically.
  • n. An oyster of the most inferior quality marketable.
  • n. Same as cloyer.
  • n. The act of taking an instantaneous photograph with a camera.
  • Sadden or quick, like a snap; done, made, etc., hastily, on the spur of the moment, or without preparation.
  • In cricket: To snatch at instead of waiting for (the ball).
  • To catch (a batsman) out: said of the wicket-keeper.
  • To pick without releasing from the husk: said of the ears of maize: as, a crib of snapped corn. Compare slip-shuck.
  • n. A temporary banking game: as, to deal a snap at faro.
  • n. Same as snap-bean.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. separate or cause to separate abruptly
  • n. any undertaking that is easy to do
  • n. a crisp round cookie flavored with ginger
  • n. the act of catching an object with the hands
  • v. bring the jaws together
  • n. a fastener used on clothing; fastens with a snapping sound
  • n. a spell of cold weather
  • v. break suddenly and abruptly, as under tension
  • v. cause to make a snapping sound
  • n. (American football) putting the ball in play by passing it (between the legs) to a back
  • n. the act of snapping the fingers; movement of a finger from the tip to the base of the thumb on the same hand
  • n. a sudden breaking
  • n. the tendency of a body to return to its original shape after it has been stretched or compressed
  • v. put in play with a snap
  • v. move or strike with a noise
  • n. a sudden sharp noise
  • v. lose control of one's emotions
  • v. record on photographic film
  • n. the noise produced by the rapid movement of a finger from the tip to the base of the thumb on the same hand
  • v. to grasp hastily or eagerly
  • v. move with a snapping sound
  • v. make a sharp sound
  • n. tender green beans without strings that easily snap into sections
  • n. an informal photograph; usually made with a small hand-held camera
  • v. close with a snapping motion
  • v. utter in an angry, sharp, or abrupt tone


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Probably from Middle English snappe, a quick bite, probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch snappen, to seize, snap.



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  • Spotted in the wiktionary entry... "sorry. Your browser... JavaScript enabled .. "

    June 13, 2016

  • To snapchat.

    Overheard "snap you when I get home"

    May 6, 2016

  • ...that bloke on the wall,

    the Thespian snap,

    he's got teeth just like


    genus of shark...

    - Peter Reading, 5x5x5x5x5, 1983

    July 4, 2008

  • "the San Jose Sharks' offensive dynamo snapped a deadlock, scalding the locals with a late-game dandy" - Vancouver Sun, 1-4-08

    January 11, 2008

  • Pans in reverse.

    November 2, 2007